Finland closing border to Russian tourists starting Friday
Driving the news: Finland, along with several other countries neighboring Russia, announced plans last week to bar entry for Russian tourists amid an influx of Russians attempting to flee conscription.
- The large flow of Russians into the country could present a danger to Finland's international relations, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said at a press conference Thursday, per Reuters.
- Those seeking to cross the border for family visits, work or study will still be permitted.
The big picture: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement last week of a “partial mobilization” of 300,000 citizens to aid the war effort in Ukraine prompted protests and even attacks on military recruitment offices.
- Long queues have been reported at many of Russia’s borders, with satellite images showing a line of vehicles to enter Georgia stretching more than 10 miles long.
- Nearly 17,000 Russians crossed the border into Finland last weekend, an 80% increase over the week before, Finnish authorities said Monday.
- The Finnish Border Guard earlier this week even recommended the construction of a physical fence along 10-20% of the country's eastern border due to “recent changes in the security environment,” Politico reported.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.